Who and What I Remember....

If you have any recollections you would like to see here, please submit them to Hugh Bracey

Clive Brown

Photo taken by Spike Milligan in the summer of 1951, I think, or it might have been 1952. (Trevor?) Lund, Denis Machin, Clive Brown( SEE GENERAL PHOTO GALLERY).. For some reason the three of us were missing when he took a full photo of the Va form. I haven't met up with anyone from the school except (Ian?) Black, the Matron's son. I met him at UKAEA Culham Laboratory where I was working at the time. Haven't heard asound from anybody else.

Colin Laycock

Education certainly was different then - "Boney" Thompson, "Fungus", "Spike" Milligan, "Max" Ebbage, "Sam" Lack and others. I also still have a handmade and signed menu for a Prefects` Dinner at Bettys Restaurant, York, in 1960. The names on the Menu are: Hardaker, Faulkner, Elliott, March, Harris, Bell, Shephard, Braim,Hudson, Swann, Smith, Hodgson and Laycock. The Headmaster was D A Frith

Martin Davies 52-56

AHGS was the making of me. I'd been an abject failure in the Classics stream at Bradford GS (2.5% in the Greek exam), but I found my niche in the fifth form at York after my father moved there to be the Unitarian minister.

I shall always remember the kindness and the generosity of Michael Binks on my first day there in the playground, introducing me with wonderful panache to others in my year - including, Michael said, the boy with a name like a tractor and a face to match (he didn't have, of course, but the remark, to my naive ears, was amazingly stylish), David Brown (whom I'd known previously in Pudsey). Graham Smith, Gogs Thorpe - with whom I struggled (successfully, in the end) to pass French at A-level, under Cis.

Stuart Lack, Michael Ebbage (who gave me lifts to school from Acomb Street) Michael Vonberg (whose Iago in St Johns next door was vibrant with sensuality as he made love to a concrete pillar). I did my best as Dr Faustus, but was displaced on the opening night by my 'understudy' who was infinitely superior to me - especially when it came to kissing Helen of Troy. And I could only gasp with admiration at the dramatic accomplishment of Frank Smith, photographer's son, as Peer Gynt.

I realise now (as the admissions officer for an undergraduate degree programme) how incredibly privileged we were in that AHGS sixth form. But you don't think about it at the time.

Colin Laycock

I was very interested to see reference to actor Frank Smith - I am pleased that it confirms I have remembered his name correctly - do remember his amazing acting ability and also his humanity and maturity. (You can look up details of Frank Smith under his stage name of Frank Barrie on the web Daily Herald (Rhode Island), Trinity College and The International Movie database

Rod Shaw

Who remembers Saturday nights at the Theatre Royal, in the "Gods" for about 1s/9d, paying 10% attention to the play, 50% attention to the QA and Mill Mount girls also present (I know, I'm married to one of them), 20% attention to annoying Boris, and 20% to making paper darts and landing them on the stage? Shooting off at fulltime asap to get a swifty one in at the Starre or Punchbowl or Thomas'.....Ah yes, those were the days......

Pete Gott

Yes I remember the Saturday theatre expeditions very well and the paper dart episode although now with some embarassment. The thing got caught in the beam of light from a spotlight and floated serenely and inexorably down to the stage to land at one of the actor's feet. There was a sort of sharp intake of breath from the audience. You may recall there was even an editorial in the Press the following week complaining of "unacceptable rowdyism at the theatre culminating in this sorry episode" or some such journalistic hyperbole. Fortunately there was no DNA testing then or I would probably been caught and transported to the colonies.

Rod Shaw

Come now Pete, I wouldn't be embarrassed by the feat, it was a masterpiece of aviation design, only perfected after innumerable earlier test flights (by yourself and other designers over several years) plummeted to their doom in the 3rd row stalls, or once, remarkably, somewhere to the rear of the upper circle thereby taking out a middle-aged usherette with an icecream tray and false teeth.

The early problems were largely due to failures in the first stage boosters (ie how hard you flicked them off the balcony of the Gods). Also the ablative coating (chewing gum) on the nose-cone of the re-entry vehicle may have put excess weight on the pointed end.

The event you describe was indeed the one I recall. The actor was dramatically solilo-whatevering in a single spot and the Gotterschmitt 748 did a perfect 3-point at his feet, having first cast a growing dramatic shadow by majestically flying down the spot beam. He stopped, momentarily, looked down, looked up, frowned, grinned and continued without missing a word. And the Gallery rose, as a single person, and cheered, only to be thrown out en masse by the "miserable little ..." who acted as crowd control up there (Boris?).

Malcolm Beckwith

Wonderful to be able to reminisce could not remember the name of the tuck shop on Lord Mayors Walk with their penny drinks

John Zimnoch

I think after a few more months of the site being broadcast we should have a reunion at the tuck shop on Lord Mayors Walk with penny drinks all round! Also drank tons of beer at The Hole in the Wall under Bootham Bar. I'll be over to York late June why don't we all arrange to meet in the Starre Inn for bevvies? That was another popular watering hole with Brown Bill the barman, very jovial and fond of us young schoolboys- "put the money in the palm of my hand young man" with a smile on his face!!

It grieves me,even as a non scholar, that such a fine institution is now a co-ed comprehensive; and we hated it when the school was moved from the lovely buildings at Lord Mayor's Walk to those boxes on the Hull Road, especially when we had to move out to accommodate those ****** at St John's next door.

Hugh Bracey

The current photo of me on the Roll Call clearly shows the bump on my head, which I received at AHGS, so I did leave with a permanent reminder of my days there!

I was running headlong up the main stairs, not looking where I was going, and my head hit the corner of the School Hi Fi equipment (or at least the main unit), which was being carried downstairs carefully and slowly by a Boarding House Monitor (Haynes). That piece of school equipment must be worth a fortune now on Antiques Road Show!

I still remember the school being allowed to listen to a Cup Quarter Final on it in the School Hall because York City managed to get that far. (Colin Addison was playing for them then).

Rod Shaw

It was the replay of the FA Cup Semi, played one Wednesday (Hillsborough?) afternoon, KO probably at 3pm. We were all marched into the hall (I think it was compulsory), told to sit down and shut up (fat chance) and listen to the game scratchily relayed over about a 1 watt PA system. Quite unreal, I remember the masters trying to appear disinterested and then jumping up and down and yelling with the rest of us.

York City held Newcastle to a draw in the first game (Villa Park?), 1-1, I think, and had a second goal disallowed in the last few minutes. As it was, they were the first 3rd div team to get a replay in the semis. They beat sides like Spurs on the way there, 3-1 or 4-1, from memory, and Blackpool by a similar margin (very strong 1st div side then, I'm not sure whether Sir Stan was still playing for them then).

Arthur Bottom (of whom there is Only One, and he is alive and well and living in Sheffield, I'm told by Josh Easby) was duly transferred to Newcastle but did not do particularly well there (served them right). I think he was the leading goal scorer in the FA in that famous year (56?)

John Foggin

Rod, you are well up on your soccer memories. We name you our Leslie Welsh! We all had to sit on the hard floor for about one hour and for those some distance from the stage it was quite inaudible. Bottom scored in that semi and also in the replay which, of course, Newcle won and went on to win the FA cup ( Jackie Milburn was the captain of Newcastle)

Alan Etherington

I remember having to listen to the football match and it must have been early 1955 as we were on the front rows. When people were told if they had to go then they could (meaning those who had to catch buses) I got up as well for, truth to tell, I find football like listening to paint drying. I was mocked by those in authority as I was a Boarder and obviously had no bus to catch. Such is life.

Frank Laurence

Mention has been made of Frank Smith (aka Frank Barrie), but what about Peter Woodthorpe (of 'Waiting for Godot' fame) - and what about Frank Dobson ? Whatever our political viewpoint - didn't he do well ! Finally what did happen to Scrancher (Johnson?)?

If you didn't know him, you will not understand why he comes to mind. As a prefect at the time of his arrival, I remember him well - too well!

Roger King

Wasn't the boy at the back on the right of the Prefects 61 photo David Barber? (Now added - Geoff)

1956-61 - Good days!